Stormrider

Stormrider

infobox Book |
name = Stormrider
title_orig =
translator =


image_caption = Stormrider book cover.
author = David Gemmell
cover_artist =
country = United Kingdom
language = English
series = Rigante
genre = Fantasy novel
publisher = Orbit Books
release_date = 2002
media_type = Print (Paperback)
pages = 601 pp (paperback)
isbn = ISBN 0-552-14676-5
preceded_by =
followed_by =

Stormrider is a fantasy novel by the author David Gemmell published in 2002. It is the fourth and last novel in the Rigante series.

Plot summary

The book is set in a world where two armies are fighting over the vanity of kings - the Royalists and the Covenanters. On the Royalist side, great treachery and back-stabbing is taking place.

In the north of the land lies the Moidart and the city of Eldacre; further north is the location of the Rigante clans. This is the place that the highlanders have been forced to settle in.

The Moidart's son, Gaise Macon (known by the Rigante soul name of 'Stormrider') is in the Royalist king's army, and serves loyally. An old prophecy, however, is making him a hunted man by the treachourous Lord Winterbourne.

Winterbourne is the leader of the Redeemer Knights, a cold-hearted group of killers. When he and the Redeemers were sacking the village of Shelsans, a monk showed him an ancient skull - the skull of Cernunnos. A priest prophesiesed before he was executed that Winterbourne would be killed by the man with the golden eye - who Winterbourne assumes is Gaise Macon.

Winterbourne kills the king, then, taking control of the army, attempts several attacks on Macon, and finally launches a wide-scale operation on a town the Stormrider is deployed at. Macon holds out due to an early warning from a traitor of Winterbourne's army, but the only woman he had loved was killed by the invaders.

The Moidart's castle at Eldacre is invaded by soldiers of the Pinance who are allied to Winterbourne. The Moidart hides in the castle with a few loyal men, kills the Pinancer leaders, and takes control of the Pinance's army. Gaise Macon leads the Eldacre Company back to Eldacre, and the Moidart seeks the Rigante's assistance in the coming battle.

Cernunnos forces Winterbourne to hand his skull to the Rigante witch-woman, the Dweller, who passes it on to Gaise Macon.

As Winterbourne's forces close in on Eldacre, a mage in the Moidart's service - who is seeking only profit - communicates with Winterbourne, informing him that the skull of Cernunnos is in his possession. Winterbourne moves around the battlefield and comes to Eldacre himself with a detachment of elite troops. However the loss of the skull has reduced the fighting skills of the Redeemers from their previous levels down to a point where they are easily defeated by the injured Rigante. Winterbourne is stopped as he tries to escape with the skull and in that terrible moment discovers that the man with the golden eye was not Gaise Macon at all.

Gaise Macon finally uses the skull, and Cernunnos takes control of him, temporarily giving him god-like powers. He heals and revives both his own wounded or dead troops as well as the enemy's. Finally, as Cernunnos prepares to destroy mankind, he is stopped by Macon's old friend, Mulgrave - to save the human race.

It is generally accepted that the Rigante series are Gemmel's interpretation of the wars fought by the Scottish Highlanders against the invading British, a point supported by the single landmass and the mountainous northern regions portrayed in the book. However, two of the key forces within the series, the Morrigu and Cernunnos, are both taken directly from Irish legends. Since Gemmel never put the point to rest, it can be left to the reader's opinion as to what Gemmel was writing a fantasy counterpart of.

The Morrigu is a character carried on from the Novel's Sword In The Storm and Midnight Falcon. She is depicted as an evil woman who grants men wishes to later on destroy them. But she is actually someone who loves all life and wants to help people.


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